The exterior of the caboose is almost complete. Funds were raised from local citizens to allow the exterior from top to bottom to be sand blasted, primed, and painted. Lettering was applied per photos from the caboose as it was delivered to the depot, and windows were replaced. I must say that Leonard Brother's Construction has done a very good job returning the caboose to a beautiful artifact that we can all be proud of. A formal dedication will be held at the April 8 Model Train Expo at the Depot as part of our Second Saturday 2017 openings, but you are welcome to come visit the caboose anytime prior to that date. Thank each of you for helping with donations, promotions, and support during the refurbishing of the exterior.
Caboose Update Most of you are aware that the Chatsworth Depot, one of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society’s properties, has been working to restore Seaboard Coast Line caboose #0603. This caboose was built in 1960 from a box car frame and operated on the Seaboard Coast Line and later the Louisville & Nashville Railroads, running until the mid-1980’s. The Depot Committee contacted several folks that have similar cabooses to inquire how they went about restoring their caboose. The Seaboard Airline/Seaboard Coast Line Historical Society and the National Railway Historical Society both sent letters endorsing our restoration process along with other helpful information. John Hendricks, a member of the West Nassau Historical Society in Callahan, Florida, has recently restored one of the cabooses. He supplied various information about painting, interior details and, working with Mike Montonera from CSX Railroad, was able to secure 2 conductor seats, one stove, and one generator assembly to be donated for the Chatsworth project. John personally drove to Georgia and delivered these items the last week of December. It is donations such as these, and financial donations by others, that will allow the caboose’s interior to be restored so that current residents and generations to come can come to our site and understand the original use of the caboose. The Depot Committee thanks those who have already donated and requests that others consider contributing to the caboose restoration.
Dear Friends of the Chatsworth Depot, Dear Friends of the Chatsworth Depot:
As hard as it is to believe, it has been 25 years since the preservation of the Chatsworth Depot began. During that time, we have had our ups and downs and several folks who were vitally interested in the project have passed away, but the work continues, led by a faithful group who serve with me. Other committee members are Peg Adams, Ralph Ausmus, Emily Cogburn, Diane Davis, Donna Flood, Woody Glenn, Betty Hampton, Tim Howard, Michelle Koneman, Wade Owens, Tom Ramsey, Bill Steele and Ted Yarbrough (who serves as vice-chairman).
Today, the Depot is again a busy place, maybe not quite as busy as it was when several trains stopped each day, but we have had over 800 people visit in the last year. Most have come to the annual “Polar Express” event for kids at Christmas or to the free “Homegrown Music” concerts held this summer. We have had some group tours as well as a couple of private events at the depot. Our collection of historic memorabilia has expanded and displays have been revamped. One thing is certain, kids and adults alike still love trains!
While use has increased, the exterior of the depot needs some attention right away! The “platform” needs immediate repairs while the trim and walls desperately need a new coat of “L & N paint”. Therefore we ask you to consider a donation at this time to meet these preservation needs.
Kind, faithful donors have already come forward to finance the repair and repainting of the caboose as soon as weather permits. Landscaping has also been completed and there are other things in the works. Although several grant application brought no funding, a fourth will likely provide $3,000 toward the project early in 2017. Historical Society leaders are also looking at ways to convert a couple of other resources into money for the depot, but we need several more thousand to make the much-needed repairs before another year passes.
Just as in the beginning, those who contribute $100 or more will have their names engraved on a “train plaque” in the Depot as a token of our appreciation. All gifts are tax-deductible and can be sent to the above address. Your donation will allow us to continue to tell the story of Chatsworth, of railroads, and of the talc industry in Chatsworth’s oldest building—the only Depot remaining in Murray County. Thanks for your generous support.
Frank Adams, Chairman
N. First Avenue, Chatsworth, GA
Open for special occasions and events. Please check Facebook and this web site for opening announcements.
To make arrangements for group tours or rentals please
call 706 695-4416.
Chair: Frank Adams
The Chatsworth Depot, originally on the L & N Railroad, has been moved a block from its original location behind the Wright Hotel.
The Caboose and Depot are located adjacent to the Wright Hotel
In 1904 the Louisville and Nashville railroad system ran from Cincinnati, Ohio to Etowah, Tennessee. In order to complete a direct line to Atlanta, the L&N railroad system began laying tracks from Etowah south. In 1905, tracks were laid through Murray County. The Chatsworth Depot, now located adjacent to the Wright Hotel, was built along the tracks during this period. It contained two waiting rooms, an agent's office, an express and baggage room, and a freight room. The L&N Railroad employed many Murray County residents, and trains would stop daily to transport residents traveling to and from Cartersville and other points. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once spent a night in his private car at the depot on his way to Warm Springs, where he went for therapy for polio.
The restored depot currently houses two museums: one chronicles the growth of the local talc industry; the other documents more than a century of railroad service in Murray County.
The Talc Museum contains a collection of historical information and artifacts relating to the talc industry in Murray County, including maps, documents, photographs, news articles, tools and special equipment.
The Railroad Museum concentrates on passenger and freight service through Murray County. Original items from several Murray County depots are on display along with an extensive display of tools, equipment, documents, and photographs related railroad history.
A caboose is also on display on the grounds of the Depot Museum.
Photos from Past Music Events at Chatsworth Depot!